Candidate Profile: Daniel Winter
Running for Alva City Council, Ward 1
March 19, 2021
My name is Daniel Winters. I have had the pleasure of being a part of the community since 2003. I graduated from Alva High School in 2009 as valedictorian of my class and then went on to attend Northwestern Oklahoma State University where I received a BS in Computer Science minoring in Business Administration in 2012.
My wife, Casey, and I married in 2011. Together we have three children: my stepson Jayden, and our two daughters Adriana, and Emily. We all love to play games together, watch movies, and play outside in the yard. During the summer the kids love to help me in the vegetable garden (well, they help for a little while before the trampoline steals them away).
Over the course of my working life I have had experience in a wide range of areas. I spent several years as an assistant store manager for the local McDonalds before and after college where I managed a wide range of things including budgeting, goal setting, cost management, marketing, customer service, human resources and more. I have also worked for Northwestern Oklahoma State University in their IT department and have spent the past four years with BancCentral Financial Services where I am currently the senior systems administrator.
I've got to spend most of my life living in Alva. I never thought that I would want to continue living here, but the sense of community has kept me from leaving. Not only does this community come together during the exciting times, we unite during the tragic as well. It is so exciting to see the community decorate their windows, make large signs on the highway, and lineup to cheer on our schools as they travel away to compete and during Covid we had a teddy bear hunt and animal hunt for the kids as a way to get out of the house. When people suffer loss or are diagnosed with severe illness, Alva comes together. Fundraisers are held; we come together in prayer, and find ways to support those that need it. To know that your community is there and willing to support you in the good and the bad is something special you just don't see in a lot of communities.
While we have a great and vibrant city that is lit up for ballgames, and gathering around the square for the current local event, we have a lot of things we need to build on: water pipes that are breaking, streets that need repairs, and an economy that has been stagnant. A lot of these troubles aren't new, but they are big and take time to repair.
This is why I was in support of the establishment of the Capital Improvement Fund. This fund, once funded, will provide a way for us to be more proactive and less reactive to repairs and replacements in the future. This is also why I have urged city leadership and the council to begin budgeting for routine replacement of items such as garbage dumpsters, bullet-proof vests, and the like. These kinds of items are relatively cheap until we are having to replace them all at once. Planning ahead for these expenses allow us to be more proactive with our spending and will help us avoid issues in the future.
Additionally, we must think outside the box when it comes to economic development. In addition to improving infrastructure (which studies show to be the No. 1 attraction to new business development) we must improve quality of life and support existing businesses as well as new business being established. To facilitate this goal I supported the implementation of mini-grants that would assist local businesses in repairing and improving the exterior of their businesses. I also supported the implementation of a TIF district that would help fund the Alva Arena Project that will bring more people to Alva increasing patrons to our local businesses.
Currently our pool is still closed, which is a drag on quality of life. Covid created some obstacles in moving forward with that project but we must return to this endeavor. I supported the concept of applying the name of a local business, family, or organization to various parts of the pool as a means to raise funding. We need to re-apply for or look for grant funding opportunities that can help offset as much of the cost as possible. The difficult part here is that many grants are matching grants (the city must supply a portion of the funding, usually a dollar for dollar match). If we can secure donations and other contributions first, we should hopefully be able to reduce, or even eliminate the need for additional burden on local taxpayers. I have confidence that the Pool Task Force can develop a plan that will align with the wishes of the majority of citizens.
The past four years have seen a lot of huge wins for Alva as well. The problems we are facing now are less than they were four years ago. We have made significant contributions to our water infrastructure by investing over $3.5 million with continued plans to revitalize the well field and improve the water distribution system. We have resurfaced or replaced numerous city blocks with more on the horizon. We have provided new, state-of-the-art equipment for our fire and ambulance services and so much more.
I have personally pushed for improved communication between City Hall, the council and the citizens by providing more channels of communication and encouraging the same. The most critical factor in being a council member is one's ability to listen to and communicate with the public. I have had many great discussions with members of the community. I have garnered ideas, listened to feedback, and adjusted to better fulfill my role of representing you, the voter. It was these conversations, in part, that led to me leading the charge against the ONG franchise fee. These conversations have caused me to bring things to committees, the mayor, and city leadership and have helped lead to changes in ordinances, policies, and procedures.
Now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal. Alva is propelling forward and I would like to make sure that we are continuing to move forward. I hope that, come April 6th, you will vote Daniel Winters for Ward 1, Seat 1 so we can continue the work we've been doing and achieve even greater things.